Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!
This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more,
Senate Reconvenes This Week
RULES & EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES & ENERGY
AGRICULTURE & RURAL AFFAIRS
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
SENATE LAW & JUSTICE and HOUSE LIQUOR CONTROL
Senate Environmental Committee
Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases, with 7,351 confirmed cases in 2015 - or nearly a quarter of all U.S. cases. Preliminary numbers show an increase in 2016, and the mild winter meant an early start to tick activity in 2017. Lyme disease is often transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick. Lyme disease is treatable, but there is no cure.
I am happy to support Senate Bill 100, legislation that ensures patients have access to available and emerging diagnostics and treatment options for Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases as prescribed by the attending health care professional.
Legislation legalizing the sale of consumer fireworks to Pennsylvania residents will receive a committee vote on Tuesday, May 9.
The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 679, a bill that I sponsored that will lift the ban on the sale of 'consumer' fireworks, known as 'Class C' fireworks, and allow businesses legally operating in the state to sell consumer fireworks, such as bottle rockets, roman candles and mortars, to Pennsylvania residents without the need for a permit. Currently, consumer fireworks can only be purchased by out-of-state residents.
Pennsylvania’s current prohibition on consumer firework sales is one of the most archaic laws on the books. It is a fact of life that Pennsylvanians buy fireworks out-of-state and use them back at home. What we are proposing is a common sense approach. Pennsylvania is losing needed revenues by limiting the sales.
I intend to support legislation, Senate Bill(s) 522 & 523 that will consolidate the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole. The combined agency will be called the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The consolidation of these agencies will accomplish cost savings and increased efficiencies in the operations of our state prisons and parole services.
The Senate on April 25 approved "Safe Harbor" legislation to require that sexually exploited children be diverted from the criminal justice system to more appropriate human services.
Senate Bill 554, which I supported, would require law enforcement to report to the Department of Human Services any encounter with a minor who has been subject to sexual exploitation. The Department will develop and implement a statewide protocol to deliver safe long-term housing, education, life-skills training, and counseling to the children who have been exploited.
A measure calling for a comprehensive review of Pennsylvania’s volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations received final legislative approval April 26.
The Senate unanimously concurred in House amendments to Senate Resolution 6, which authorizes a follow-up to a comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004.
SR 6 establishes a 39-member commission made up of legislators, first responders and representatives from municipalities. The commission would provide its recommendations by June 30, 2018.
The Senate on April 26 overwhelmingly passed legislation to reform Pennsylvania’s Asset Forfeiture Law.
Key reforms in Senate Bill 8 include:
• Higher burdens of proof imposed on the Commonwealth.
• Protections for third-party owners by placing additional burdens of proof on the Commonwealth.
• Improved transparency in auditing and reporting at both the county and state levels.
• Specific and additional protection in real property cases by prohibiting the pre-forfeiture seizure of real property without a hearing.
• Additional procedural protections for property owners, such as returning property to the forfeiture proceeding if there is undue hardship, and an extra level of protection for anyone acquitted of a related crime who is trying to get their property back.
Senate Bill 8 was sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration.
The last day for the County Board of Elections to receive civilian absentee ballot applications for the May 16 primary is
Tuesday, May 9. The last day for the county to receive a completed ballot
is Friday, May 12. You can find applications and information
Local fire companies and EMS stations can apply now for funding from the 2017 Unconventional Gas Well Drilling Grant Program. Fire companies, rescue companies, and emergency medical services where unconventional gas well drilling is permitted, or in bordering counties, are eligible. Funding covers training, certification and equipment for responses related to unconventional gas wells. Applications will be accepted online through June 30.
For more information, click here.
The Ford Family Foundation supports educational projects, programs and out-of-school time facilities in rural communities that encourage the development of skills, confidence and support needed for school-aged youth (5-18 years) to connect with quality mentors, excel in school, develop leadership skills, graduate with a plan for the future and become successful citizens. Typical grant sizes range from $25,000 to $150,000 per year. While there are exceptions, TFFF prefers to fund no more than one-third of the proposed budget. The fund types include programs, operating requests and capital projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here to learn more and to apply.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides grants to support programs that focus on developing a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children, helping families get stable, high-quality jobs and connecting employers with talented candidates, and/or advancing racial equity, developing leaders, and fostering community engagement. Award amounts have ranged from $5,000 to $1,500,000. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, click here.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is accepting applications for its
Youth Literacy Grant Program. Grants of up to $4,000 will be awarded to
schools, public libraries and nonprofit organizations in support of efforts
to help students who are reading below grade level or experiencing
difficulty reading. The deadline to apply is May 18.
to review the funding guidelines.
Small Business Award
Small Business Award
On May 2, I had the honor of recognizing Elvin Stoltzfus, Founder and President of Pik Rite, located in Lewisburg, who was recently named Small Business Person of the Year.
Small businesses like Pik Rite, Inc. are the engines that drive our
nation’s economy. Incorporated in 1986, Pik Rite sold three tomato
harvesters in its first year. It now occupies a 50,000-square-foot
facility, employs over 70 people and tops $15 million in annual gross
receipts. Congratulations to Elvin on this well-deserved honor and
This month, I sat down with award-winning author and journalist Sam Quinones during his visit to Williamsport where he discussed his book, DDreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic."
The discussion offered an in-depth look at the causes of the public health issue that has been recognized as a crisis at the local, state and national levels.
His stories center around the fall and rise of Portsmouth, Ohio, as the backdrop to weave together two riveting tales of capitalism run amok: the unfettered prescription of addictive pain medications during the 1990’s and the influx of black tar heroin.
My television report will air on: Blue Ridge Communications/Mansfield -
Channel 13; Service Electric Cablevision - SECV Productions - Channel 8;
Time Warner, Sayre; Adams Cable Service, Channel 7; Comcast/Williamsport -
Click On Demand/Get Local/Local Government/State Senate/A Conversation with
Senator Gene Yaw. Please check local listings for air times.
On The Horizon
On The Horizon
This Saturday, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Safe Kids PA Lycoming County Partners, the Jersey Shore Recreation Committee, Tiadaghton Regional Police and Patches Crossing of Therapy Dogs International, will hold a press event at the Jersey Shore Area Swimming Pool Complex to honor a local crash victim.
The 2nd Annual Jacob’s Bike Safety Fair will feature bicycle safety presentations, inspections, registrations, and helmet fittings will take place. Children are invited to test their skills on a bike course.
Senate Box 203023
362 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3023
175 Pine Street
Williamsport, PA 17701